"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need,
but not every man's greed."
Industrial Wind Turbines are one of the fastest-growing threats to birds, bats, and ecosystems. They are harmful to both large and small birds, disrupting their migration patterns and causing above average death rates. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that an estimated 500,000 birds are killed each year due to collisions with Industrial Wind Turbines, and as more wind energy facilities are constructed, that number will only go up . The American Bird Conservancy estimates this number will reach 1.4 million by 2030 .
Being located in the Great Lakes Region puts Barre in the Atlantic Flyway, a migratory path for birds annually traveling North and South. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains that turbines are a greater risk to migratory birds because "birds in soaring flight are unable to maneuver well and may be unable to avoid the turbine if soaring within the rotor swept zone ." Bird collisions and mortality increase with turbine height because the blades sweep higher into birds' "flight zone ."
It is very likely that the number of bird deaths is FAR above 500,000 per year because small birds have a high rate of carcass disappearance . After studying the decline in small-bird population around wind energy facilities in Europe, researchers determined that these facilities should be constructed at a minimum of 4.5km (2.8 mi) away from high-population bird areas . It is important to note that the area studied had Industrial Wind Turbines just over HALF the size of the ones proposed currently in the Heritage Wind project. Therefore, that setback distance must grow proportionally--to what distance is unknown because the currently planned 650'-680' turbines are the tallest in history on land and no studies have been done.
The Rochester Birding Association notes that three currently proposed turbines (T1, T2, and T3, view locations here) are only 2.6 mi from the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to 268 species of birds , federally-protected bald eagles, and is a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) by the Audubon Society. Three additional turbines (T4, T5, and T6) are less than 1 mi from the Oak Orchard State Wildlife Management Area. This cluster of turbines (T1-T6) that are over 650' tall, with a ~489 ft rotor diameter, and blades moving at ~210 mph will be devastating for migratory birds and the ecosystem of our region. Therefore, turbines T1-T6 should be eliminated from the Heritage Wind project. Read comments filed with DPS by the Rochester Birding Association here.
For some of the currently outlined wind turbines, wooded land would be cleared, destroying the wildlife habitat.
Apex has tried to make area residents think that wind turbines are less of a threat to birds than they really are, but in their response to this misinformation, the American Bird Conservancy makes it clear that turbines are a very real threat to our birds that needs to be taken seriously.
"The fact that there are other causes of bird mortality that kill more birds doesn’t mean that we should ignore the problems presented by wind turbines. That’s equivalent to saying that, because heart disease is the leading cause of human mortality in the United States, we should ignore the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or kidney disease ."
State's first Article 10 wind project seeks more changes (The process does not responsibly consider environmental and wildlife impacts.)
American Bird Conservancy: Industrial Wind Turbines Do Kill Birds
Wind energy is known to many as a “green” solution to climate change. But wind energy is really just another form of industrial development, and we can't ignore the costs and consequences to wildlife and their habitats. The American Bird Conservancy addresses common misconceptions about industrial wind development--click below.
Bats are an important part of farming and our ecosystem and Industrial Wind Turbines are killing hundreds of thousands of bats each year . Bats are a free and natural pesticide that save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars each year in pest control. Some studies have estimated that service to be worth over $3.7 billion per year, and possibly as much as $53 billion . In addition to reduced expenses for pest control, bats save billions of dollars worth of crops as revenue--$1 billion in corn crops alone. Then take into account the volume of insects that are eaten by bats and the degree to which that benefits other industries, like lumbar. It's impossible to calculate the tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars that bats are worth monetarily.
Studies to date have not been able to identify the reason why bats seem to be drawn to wind turbines. Some scientists believe that bats are attracted to the red flashing lights that are on top of Industrial Wind Turbines, but don't yet understand why . Others believe that bats are looking for insects to eat. Still others wonder if the bats are mistaking the turbines for trees and seeking shelter . What scientists can agree on though is that turbines are "bat death machines" and more studies are needed to save bats and the money that they are worth.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Hoary bat population is in jeopardy and wind turbines are one of the greatest risks. New York State has nine different species of bats, and eight of these species are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Given that bats are one of the slowest reproducing animals in the world , we can expect to see our species of bats in jeopardy as wind energy production expands.
Like birds, some bats are killed by collision with the sweeping blades of the wind turbines. However, the Bat Conservation Trust has evidence that the pressure created by the blades is causing bats' lungs to explode . In any case, it is the responsibility of wind developers to counteract this problem, but Apex has no plans to assess our bat population or reduce bat deaths in our agricultural community.
Hoary bat numbers declining at a rate that suggests species in jeopardy in Pacific Northwest (great risk from wind energy production)
Converting agricultural land for the use of Industrial Wind Turbines irreversibly destroys it. The Heritage Wind project would destroy over 53 acres of agricultural land for turbines, collection lines, access roads, towers, and maintenance building(s). During construction, an additional 15 acres would be lost to staging areas. Tons and tons of concrete would be poured into the earth and filled with rebar to build the turbine foundations. These concrete foundations would be permanent. If the wind turbines were ever to be decommissioned, these foundations would simply be covered up, permanently changing the agricultural land. As a Right-to-Farm community, our soil is our most valuable resource and these concrete foundations would change the soil and ecosystem. Altering our agricultural landscape violates the Right-to-Farm purpose and values, as shown above in the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets laws.
7th generation farmers from Iowa explain it the best: "The construction of industrial wind turbines affects aquifers, water flow, tile lines, soil erosion, soil compaction, air pressure and current, in essence—it is destruction of the best soil in the world, the farmland that the generations before us were proud of and left for us to feed the world with ."
Albeit anecdotal, there is growing evidence that Industrial Wind Turbines can have negative effects on other animals as well. In Taiwan, over 400 goats are believed to have died from exhaustion because they couldn't sleep due to the noise and stress that wind turbines caused them . Outside San Diego, CA wind energy facilities, chickens have been laying shell-less and soft-shelled eggs . The World Council for Nature has listed other occurrences near wind energy facilities, including mink in Denmark becoming aggressive towards each other, resulting in deaths, and emus in Ontario, Canada becoming agitated by wind turbines and not sleeping, resulting in deaths . In Wisconsin, a resident has noted that he used to see numerous deer and wild turkeys around his property, but they have all but disappeared since wind turbines were built nearby . Around 6 minutes and 30 seconds into this video, a Wisconsin farmer gives his testimony of what Industrial Wind Turbines have done to his cows and wildlife.
We acknowledge that these are personal experiences and not science-backed studies, but there are no studies to reference, which is alarming given our rural region and Governor Cuomo's green energy initiative.
"Cuomo calls the climate crisis a matter of life and death, but unfortunately his policies don't match the lofty rhetoric," Food & Water Watch Northeast region director Alex Beauchamp declared in a statement. "A vague pledge of carbon neutrality by the year 2040 is not the bold action necessary to move New York off fossil fuels."
We need to reset our renewable energy expectations. 100% renewable energy is impossible because you cannot build a wind turbine without fossil fuels. Industrial Wind Turbines are made from literally tons of steel, concrete, fiberglass, copper, and cast iron. An estimated 900 tons of material is needed to build just one 554' tall Industrial Wind Turbine . Steel is made from iron ore, a finite fossil fuel extracted from the earth. Fiberglass is produced from petrochemicals which cannot be made without the extraction of oil and natural gas. Cement used to make concrete produces carbon dioxide. Consider the factories, machinery, and diesel trucks, also made of steel, and what powers them. Industrial Wind Turbines have a lifespan of 20 years, so this is a repeating cycle, which also adds to materials in landfills. Expanding our hydropower production is a far cleaner solution that requires far less finite fossil fuels.
 Bat Reproduction
 The Legacy of Land
Say No to Apex Heritage Wind Industrial Wind Turbines in Barre, NY
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Heritage Wind announced at the July 2023 Town Board Meeting plans to change the layout and specs of the project once again! This is not over!
If you are approached to sign anything, please let us know! We are expecting this and want you to be aware.
CSAB will continue to educate and fight against this disastrous project.